Liaw finds taste of Aus­tralia

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY -

OU can take the boy from the South Aus­tralian hills but you can’t take those hills far from Adam Liaw.

That’s why the for­mer MasterChef win­ner is so ex­cited to be co-host­ing the new SBS food se­ries Des­ti­na­tion Flavour.

Not only is the 10-part show the first full se­ries to which Liaw has put his name since win­ning sea­son two of MasterChef, it’s en­abled him to re­turn to his home state and show­case its culi­nary de­lights.

‘‘I thought I knew the state pretty well af­ter trav­el­ling around it for 25 years,’’ he says, ‘‘but there are some lit­tle pock­ets down on the Lime­stone Coast and around the Coorong coun­try – it’s just beau­ti­ful’’.

But it’s not only South Aus­tralia’s hid­den gems that are re­vealed in the show. Liaw and his co-hosts, Re­nee Lim (SBS’s Food In­ves­ti­ga­tors and East West 101) and Lily Serna (SBS’s Let­ters and Num­bers), head to all cor­ners of the na­tion. Liaw says the crew vis­ited many well-known foodie des­ti­na­tions in Aus­tralia, but also headed to some less pub­li­cised spots on the gas­tro­nomic trail.

‘‘It’d be a pretty bor­ing show if we just hit the same things ev­ery­one al­ready knew about. We are quite lucky that we’ve gone and done some things are off the beaten track,’’ Liaw, now based in Sydney, says.

The three hosts jour­ney across Aus­tralia, cap­tur­ing the tales and char­ac­ters from the vast do­main of food pro­duc­tion and prepa­ra­tion.

They also visit restau­rants and give tips and hints on where to track down some of the pro­duce.

‘‘One thing that re­ally sur­prised me, in­dus­try aside and cul­ture aside, was just the num­ber of truly pas­sion­ate peo­ple that work so hard, with frankly very lit­tle re­turn in many cases, just to pro­duce the best-qual­ity prod­uct,’’ Liaw says.

‘‘It’s a tough busi­ness but the in­creased aware­ness from the pub­lic on get­ting their hands on this re­ally great pro­duce is a very good thing for the in­dus­try.’’

A visit to a 70-year-old cou­ple who live in Vic­to­ria’s Dayles­ford re­gion and grow pota­toes, do­ing ev­ery­thing by hand, was a mem­o­rable mo­ment for Liaw – and, he adds, not only be­cause they grew the best or­ganic pota­toes he’s ever tasted.

Just as SBS’s Peter Ku­ru­vita and Maeve O’Meara do on their shows, each episode of Des­ti­na­tion Flavour will fea­ture a stepby-step recipe prepa­ra­tion of sev­eral dishes.

Liaw says that af­ter his MasterChef book was re­leased, var­i­ous tele­vi­sion op­por­tu­ni­ties came his way but he didn’t want to do a pro­gram un­til the right one came along.

‘‘The idea of this show and be­ing able to take the time to re­spect and do jus­tice to these grass­roots op­er­a­tions was just fan­tas­tic,’’ he says.

Thursdays from Au­gust 16, 8.30pm, SBS One.

Adam Liaw

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